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History Vogellisi

Everyone knows the song of Vogellisi living in Adelboden. But who knows the history of the samm wizened woman of Adelboden?

Once upon a time there was a small, wizened woman with a kindly face, fine grey hair, simple clothes and strong shoes. She lived alone in a little mountain hut in Bütschi, Adelboden, with foxes and hares for neighbours. She may have lived alone but she wasn't lonely. Towards people Lisi was shy but she was comfortable with the wild animals. She lived like them and shared her meagre rations with them. Lisi was especially fond of the birds (Vögel).

Nobody knows for sure, but legend has it that a large black raven (or maybe it was an eagle) would circle above Lisi's head while she was out and about on the lonely Alp collecting her herbs. Yes, it was the Alpine herbs which were the life and passion of this shrivelled old woman. There was hardly any infirmity for which she did not have a remedy and no pain she was unable to relieve or heal with her wonderful green plants. Even the old doctor in Adelboden swore by the infusions and tinctures supplied by the wise-woman Lisi. She rarely ventured into the village but when she did, she always had a basket of herbs for the doctor. Naturally, as Lisi grew older there were fewer herb deliveries, but the proud black bird was always there to accompany and protect her. Mountain walkers noticed the inseparable companions less often as time passed and "Herb-Lisi" became known as "Bird-Lisi" - that's 'Vogel-Lisi' in German.

Lisi lived until she was around ninety, but one windy October day she fainted beneath Ammertengrat, lost her balance and fell like a stone onto the ledge below. Of course, the bird saw everything but it was unable to save her because Vogel-Lisi, unlike her feathered friend, couldn’t fly. The raven's heart broke right there and then – and the faithful bird plunged to its death next to the lifeless body of Lisi. Without Lisi, it was unable to carry on living.

And that is the legend of Vogel-Lisi (Vogellisi). No wonder then that her name should live on in the well-known folk song about Adelboden. Now with the international reputation of the resort, Vogellisi has attained immortality.